Fairy Circles and Glory Holes and Grapefest Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

Fairy Circle

18 September 2009

My first full day back in Texas. I started it by taking Kyle to work, so that when I picked him up we could head straight to Grapefest! On the way into the office, as we were talking, Kyle interrupted himself at one point, and exclaimed as he pointed out the window of the car. His distraction was this amazing “magic circle” as he calls it, or “fairy ring” as I’m more prone to say. I made a mental note of where we’d seen it, and on the way back home, I did a u-turn (I’m back in the land of legal u-turns!), pulled off the road, and grabbed my camera. I walked toward the circle and took a few shots, but made a very conscious decision NOT to walk into the ring!

I spent the day doing housework and laundry and getting ready to move my stuff back in, but between phone calls and such, the time for me to leave to go get Kyle came very fast. We got to Grapefest at about four o’clock (admission was free until five!) and entertained ourselves very well for a while, shopping the various vendors, and just enjoying the beautiful day together. Not too long before our People’s Choice tasting time, Starr and Joe and Alex got there. We made plans to meet up with them after the tasting, and on we went to that part of the event. It was a whirlwind tour of Texas Wineries, as always, and about halfway through the tasting opportunities we decided it was crazy for me to try to keep up with Kyle! ūüėČ I was holding him back and I didn’t want to be the reason he didn’t meet his persoal goal of tasting something from every winery represented. So, off he went, and came back with enough time to spare that he was able to take me to taste one of his favourites. The final siren always sounds too early, and this year was no exception. We completed our ballots and then I stopped into the glass studio there in Grapevine—Vetro Art Glass. I looked around, took a few photos of the studio to show Shannon, and enjoyed a visit with the manager there whose name is also Shannon!

Then, we made a stop into the blacksmith’s shop and learned that the folks there are also our blacksmith folks at Scarborough, now! That was a nice surprise, and we made new friends in Lonnie, Linda and their son Joseph.

Finally, we were all back together with Starr and Joe, our Grapefest companions for many years, now. We walked a bit, and had some more wine, and then landed at the Gary P. Nunn concert. Nice, old-school country music and a good time. When his show was over and we headed out, we were tired. Home and in bed by about 1:30, with the knowledge that there would be no alarm clock in the morning! Yay!

~MB

Sunrise in Kansas Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

Sunrise in Kansas

17 September 2009

This was the sunrise as I exited the highway near my brother’s house in Kansas City.
At this point, I was so weary I’m surprised I thought to take a photo. But, the red sky in the morning rhyme was running through my head, and it was pretty.

~MB

A Rose by Any Other Name Tuesday, Nov 25 2008 

22 November 2008
I started the day fairly early and worked for a number of hours on various website commitments (Sherrie, yours is almost done as is yours Damaris) and some basic scripting. I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still, Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds and The Commitments. By the end of three movies, two websites & some scripting, I was ready for a change. I put on my outfit (scholar) and went out into New Market Village. With beer in hand, I made a direct line for the Sea Devil Tavern to meet up with my friends Iris & Rose. I snapped this photo
Rose
just before I took this photo of Rose then went out and watched them perform. I spent the remainder of the business day in their company. I sold their swag for them during the shows and relaxed with them in between sets. Thanks girls.

~KR (Written on 25 November 2008)

Listening to:
Blue Ridge Laughing by Carbon Leaf
from Ether-Electrified Porch Music

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.077 sec (1/13)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Fall Colours #3 Thursday, Nov 6 2008 

6 November 2008
As I was pulling out of my driveway to head to work this morning, I thought of all the leaves that were starting to pile up in the street gutters in front of each house. Our house has three of the oldest trees on the block, huge Black Oaks which shed a great deal of leaves each year. I stopped at the edge of my driveway, leaned out the window and took this shot:
Fallen.
This is the true colour of fall in my neighborhood, as sad as that may be: brown, with little speckles of green. I envy those, like my photo from the 5th, that live amongst the colours. I can only drive by them and marvel at beauty.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 6 November 2008 )

Listening to:
Marta by Bachelors
British Top 30 – 1967

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 14.3 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Fall Colours #2 Thursday, Nov 6 2008 

5 November 2008
There’s a road I travel when the traffic is bad. This road leads by some of the most amazing houses in our area. It’s a small, little-travelled road, that when I moved to Texas, was out in the country. Civilisation has sprung up all around, but the road has maintained some of its old country-style charm and beauty.
Autumn Road
Cheers
~KR (Written on 6 November 2008 )

Listening to:
New York State of Mind by Billy Joel
from The Essential Billy Joel (2CD)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com

Fall Colours #1 Thursday, Nov 6 2008 

4 November 2008
I took my boss to the airport today so he could head to Frankfurt. On the way back to the office, I snapped this photo out the passenger window while sitting at a traffic light:
Fall Colours
These are the "colours" indicative of fall in my immediate area. There are some other trees that provide more colour, but they’re more rare and elusive. I hope to hunt some down before the "Colours of Autumn" mini-contest is over.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 6 November 2008 )

Listening to:
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? by Culture Club
from VH1 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 14.3 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Clearing the Way Thursday, Sep 18 2008 

14 September 2008
Sunday. A day of rest. Yeah, not really. This is Marita Beth’s first Sunday home since June and we made a much-needed trip out to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. We’re hoping that this off-season will be the time when we are able to expand the back of my shop into viable storage & living quarters. But, to do that we needed to take measurements of the existing structure and of the available land. But, to do that, we had to clear away the "jungle" that grows in our absence. Here’s my wife taking her determination & shears to the massive weed population:
Clearing
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 17 September 2008 )

Listening to:
9 Minutes of Woo by Needfire
from Live in Batesville

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2 mm
ISO Speed: 320
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode

Old Bricks Wednesday, Sep 17 2008 

Old Bricks

17 September 2008

This photo is of the side of our house in Arlington.  The bricks look old and worn, but not nearly so abused as most of the bricks in Galveston, Texas.  We continue to send our healing thoughts and prayers to folks in the Houston/Galveston area as they attempt to get their lives back on track after Hurricane Ike.  The Daily KRuMB continues to see an elevated number of hits each day, due to our Google ranking on searches about Ike and Galveston.   I thought it might be a good idea to include the text from the Houston Chronicle article that Starr found a couple of days ago.  This remains the most recent news we have about our beloved island and its Historical Landmarks.  What follows is quoted: 

Some 7,000 documented historic buildings are located on Galveston, an island that served as a gateway to Texas in the state’s early days. Of those, it is estimated as many as 1,500 of the structures sustained serious damage during Hurricane Ike.

An early assessment by the Galveston Historical Foundation shows the following conditions at historic sites.

U.S. CUSTOM HOUSE: Built in 1861, this structure serves as the headquarters for the Galveston Historical Foundation. It was flooded by as much as 8 feet of water, which damaged files, archives and equipment. An upstairs door is damaged. Roof damage, if any, is unknown.

 ASHTON VILLA: This 1859 Italianate mansion lost two to three windows on its second floor and had up to 18 inches of flooding that likely caused extensive first-floor furniture damage.

¬†BISHOP’S PALACE: This home, also known as the 1889 Gresham House, is the most visited historic building in Galveston. It appears to have sustained little damage, as was the case in the catastrophic 1900 hurricane. The home had as much as 3 feet of flooding on its bottom floor, which is slightly below ground level and is used for a ticket counter and offices. That floor is under renovation to become a visitors center.

 THE ELISSA: The famous 1877 tall ship, restored in 1982 by the foundation, lost several sails but otherwise seemed to ride out the hurricane well. The vessel is attached to the shore through large steel pipes driven into the harbor bottom.

TEXAS SEAPORT MUSEUM AT PIER 22: This is Elissa’s home berth. It suffered damage to the brick and wooden pier, with a suspected total loss to the wooden workshops used for maintenance of the ship. The museum itself, in the 1990 Jones Building, suffered little damage.

 THE SANTA MARIA: This 1937 restored wooden shrimp boat fared well in her slip near the Texas Seaport Museum with only minor damage.

¬†MICHEL B. MENARD HOUSE: Built in 1838, the city’s oldest residential house sustained little visible damage.

SAMUEL MAY WILLIAMS HOUSE: Constructed in 1839 and one of the oldest residential houses on the island, it appeared to sustain little damage.

 GARTEN VEREIN: An 1880 German dancing pavilion in Kempner Park managed by the foundation, Garten Verein appears to be undamaged.

¬†ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH BUILDING: The state’s oldest German Catholic church building, the wooden St. Joseph’s building was built in 1859. It closed as a church in 1968. The building lost one window but otherwise appears undamaged.

 HISTORICAL FOUNDATION WAREHOUSE: This warehouse on Mechanic Street was inundated with at least 10 feet of water and sustained extensive damage. Much of its contents was destroyed, including equipment used during Dickens on the Strand, the popular holiday festival.

 GALVESTON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: Housed in the 1921 City National Bank Building, the museum is a joint project of the historical foundation and the Galveston County Commissioners Court. A floodwater line can be seen below the entrance to the first floor. Unless there is roof damage, the building is believed to be unharmed.

 Source: Galveston Historical Foundation.

End quote.

As you can see, the condition of the Tremont House Hotel, and the fate of the 2008 Dickens on the Strand Festival remain unknown.  

~MB

Addendum:  News Update on Historic Galveston.  Special thanks to Donna who found this:  http://www.click2houston.com/video/17485318/index.html

Frank Billingsley of Houston’s Channel 2, hosts a Walking Tour of Galveston Island, including visits to many of our well-loved landmarks.¬† It takes about thirty minutes to view the whole thing, but it’s well worth the time.¬† One small segment includes a quick interview with a representative from the Tremont who seems very positive about getting things back up and running—but no time frame is given.¬† He said the hotel damage is pretty much limited to the ground floor and a few windows.¬† One restaurant owner indicated his repairs and rebuilding would take “months.”¬† Of course, there isn’t much going on yet, in the way of clean-up and repair, because there is no power and no water.¬† Fisherman’s Wharf (our Saturday night dinner spot for many years), Rudy and Paco’s (our new favourite restaurant on the island), Willy G’s (our Sunday night dinner spot), and many, many other places we know well, all have extensive water and mud damage.¬† Furniture is tossed about like matchsticks.¬† Walls are already molding in the humidity, and first floors will probably need to be gutted completely.¬† Fisherman’s Wharf’s harborside deck¬†seems to be completely destroyed¬†(remember the spot where Clay stood to take our photo on the Elissa a few years ago?).¬†¬†¬†High water marks on the Strand are at about nine feet; on Post Office at about six feet, and on Broadway at about three feet.¬† Pretty much every retailer, every business for that matter, ¬†in the area will have lost nearly everything they didn’t move to a spot higher than that.¬† The property damage is mind-boggling.¬† And, at this point, at least until services are restored, and work crews can begin, there’s no telling how long the recovery efforts will take.¬† So, still no certainty about Dickens on the Strand.¬† And, if there is a festival, where people will eat, shop, sleep, etc.

We’ll keep our Daily KruMB readers as updated as we are on all this.

Cicada on a Mini Bulb Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

Cicada on a Mini Bulb

28 August 2008

Only a couple of days left to get any real sewing done.  So much to do, so little time. 

Both Kelly and I have expressed some regret at the boxes of stuff we’re taking home that didn’t get done.¬† But, progress was made, and we are responsible for our choices.¬† It’s all good.

In the vein of summertime winding down, it seems to be cicada-time.¬† This photogenic insect in my photo today was just hanging out—presumably keeping warm on a cool morning.¬† I’ve done a little research and learned that I believe this to be a Tibicen or “Dog Day” Cicada—an annual variety, found all over North America.¬† Commonly seen in July and August, here, I believe this one is in its final days.¬† Kelly spotted it in the MBistro and being a loyal Daily KRuMB reader, immediately pointed it out to me as a perfect¬†photo of the day opportunity.

~MB

Happy Anniversary & a Longhorn Saturday, Aug 9 2008 

5 August 2008
Happy Anniversary, baby!
13 sensationally marvelous years.
Because of the hours I’ve been working lately, and the vagaries & uncertainties of non-rev travel, I did not plan anything overtly special for our anniversary figuring that if she did indeed get home from afar that just being together would be enough. Turns out I was right. ūüôā
With only one car at home, she took me to work this morning and picked me up when the day was done. We immediately headed into downtown Ft. Worth knowing that we could find a variety of things to do in Sundance Square. We did. First, though, as we walked around the area, I saw this topiary longhorn. Just seeing it rattled a branch in the far-flung tree of my memory and I took it’s photo for comparison:
Topiary Longhorn
Back in January, I was in downtown Ft. Worth with a vendor from out of town, and he marvelled at the sight of the topiary wrapped in burlap to protect against the angry elements of a Texas "winter." Being from Denver, CO, I’m guessing topiary longhorns are a rarity.
Anyway, from this bush beast, we descended on a bar we didn’t know was there, Durty Murphy’s. Nice place even if it is a smoker’s haven and the decoration-only bartender has NO clue how to build a proper Guinness. One pint of Guinness, part of a Zon (from Boulevard Brewing) and a shot of Forty Creek (complements of the Republic Liquors representative) later, we departed and headed for food. We settled on Cabo Grande where the wee wife discovered fish tacos. She really liked them. After that, it was back home to a relaxing evening in the house with the wife & dogs. Nothing special turned into very special. It was a lovely day and the best 13th wedding Anniversary I have ever had.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 8 August 2008 )

Listening to:
Oh What a Lovely War by Brother
from The Terrain Around Here is Far Too Dangerous

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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